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Physical Symptoms Which Could Point to Depression

Depression Affects More Than Just Feelings

depressionWhile depression is categorized as a mood disorder, it affects more than your emotions. According to experts, over half of people with diagnosable depression start off seeing their physician because of chronic body aches. One of the first signs may not be overwhelming sadness or a lack of social interest but unexplainable pain. While it is true that a standard depression screening will ask about mood, sleep and concentration, it’s also been shown that physical ailments can also be a symptom.

One place you may see a manifestation of depression is in your digestive system. Digestive issues are not uncommon side effects. Your digestive tract produces 80-90 percent of your serotonin – a neurotransmitter largely responsible for balancing mood. In other words, it could be a food allergy or an irritation in your gut that is causing your depression.

Another possible sign of depression is chronic migraines. Problem headaches show up alongside disorders like anxiety or depression for more than 10 percent of patients. Unexplained back pain, too, can be connected to a mood disorder. Try warm baths and soothing massages, but if you can’t shake the pain it could be that it stems from somewhere deeper inside.

Chest and joint pain have also been associated with depression. These aches may be signs of depression or can actually lead to depression. In either case, treating the depression can help to alleviate the pain.

At Family Guidance Center we know that when the aches and pains are chronic and without obvious reason, these physical ailments can be symptoms of depression. Don’t ignore your body. If your doctor can’t explain your pain, it could be because it’s actually a sign of mental distress.

Symptoms of Depression

Depression goes beyond feeling sad and low for a few days. Yet, even if feelings of sadness stay with you for weeks on end, you may still notdepression suspect that you are experiencing a clinical illness. You may downplay the symptoms of depression believing that time or a change in circumstances will lead to a change in mood or behavior. But symptoms of depression may linger and being able to recognize the symptoms can aid you in knowing when it is time for you or someone you care about to reach out for help.

Here are some of the symptoms used to diagnose depression:

The technical term is anhedonia, but it means that a person no longer feels interested in things that they used to really enjoy. It doesn’t matter if it was riding a bike, watching movies, going shopping or gardening depression robs you of energy, motivation and pleasure in activities that once brought joy.

Weight Fluctuation
Most people enjoy eating but, depression interrupts pleasure signals. If you have depression you may pick at food and skip meals because you simply aren’t interested in eating. On the other hand, doctors say that some people may consume more carbohydrates because they provide the body with a quick emotional lift. Weight that changes significantly up or down could signal depression.

Unexplained Physical Pain
If you are experiencing physical ailments, what is really wrong could be psychological. You may actually be feeling back pain or a stomachache even without an obvious reason. That’s because depression can turn up the volume on minor discomforts until they feel like significant pain.

If you are experiencing bouts of anger it could signal depression. Depression increases irritability and anger but it is also true that unprocessed anger can lead to depression.

At Family Guidance we know not only how to recognize the signs of depression, but how to help you leave depression behind. Contact us if you or someone you love are experiencing these symptoms.

Risk Factor for Those with Heart Disease Increases When Combined With Depression

Medical experts say that adding stress and major depression to existing heart disease leads to a heightened risk of heart attack or death.

A Columbia University Medical Center study looked at nearly 4,500 patients with a diagnosis of heart disease. All the patients in the study were at least 45 years old and were surveyed several times over a five year time span. During home visits researchers asked patients questions designed to evaluate stress level or degree of depression during the week prior.

Researchers then followed up the series of questionnaires six years later. In that period, 1,337 patients had died due to heart attack and six percent were experiencing a high degree of stress or severe depression. Researchers then compared the high depression and stress patients with the lower level patients. They discovered a 48 percent higher chance of heart attack within 2.5 years of their first home survey for those who reported high depression and high stress.

This means that adding stress and depression to an existing heart condition could be a deadly combination. While many patients with chronic health conditions (like heart disease) face depression or stress, these conditions can be managed. With help, patients can learn to cope with stress in ways that lower its severity. Depression also can be treated.

If you have heart disease and are feeling tense or depressed, this could be a serious combination. While you’re not unusual for facing these problems, you don’t have to continue this way. You can learn to manage them. At Family Guidance Center we know how to help. Don’t just accept a risky mix of chronic illness and depression or stress. Call us and come see how you can learn to manage triggers and return to quality of life.

Signs of Depression You May Not Recognize

While the media has certainly elevated the visibility of depression, there are obvious symptoms which get frequent mention. There are alsoDepressed 1 more subtle signs that you may not realize signify depression.

Common Signs of Depression
The classic signs that most people now know to look for are hopelessness, a continued state of gloominess or sadness and a lack of joy or pleasure in life’s activities – even ones which used to be enjoyed greatly. These telltale signs are well known signs to look for. The less obvious signs are just as indicative, but a person might attempt to explain them away as something else.

Subtle Signs
These less obvious symptoms might be harder to connect to depression but can still be cause for concern:

Substance abuse
Sleeping and eating changes – more or less of either
Body aches – unexplained headaches and joint aches
Excessive tiredness – this can include a low libido
Difficulty with focus or concentration
Hypersensitivity to rejection
Life appears as a drab and unsmiling grey

Other less-recognized signs of depression include irritability, aggression and anger. This is important to recognize since unexplained anger could be linked to anxiety and often signals a more serious kind of depression. If you or someone close to you seems inexplicably irritable, take a closer look. Adolescents often experience depression as undirected anger.

It’s hard to admit to yourself or others that you may be struggling with depression. However, whether or not you are ready to admit depression, it will manage to find cracks in the façade. Whether you know you are depressed or just worry that you might be, it’s a good idea to talk with someone else about how you are feeling. Family Guidance can help you sort through the symptoms and find the truth. Call us or stop by.

Signs of Depression That You May Not Know

Feelings are a big part of depression. The sadness and hopelessness of depression can be very overwhelming. But there are many signs ofDepression 4 depression beyond how a person feels. Do any of these sound familiar to you?
Life Isn’t Rosy Anymore
Colors are not as bright and cheerful to people whose hearts feel grey. Rather than rose-colored glasses, you now see life through grey-hued ones. Depression can affect how you see all areas of your life.

Trapped in the Net of the Internet
Constant time on your laptop, tablet or smartphone takes precedence over daily responsibilities. You feel like the Internet is a lifeline and you can’t let go. If this is something you struggle with, then depression may be overwhelming you.

Physical Pain is a Part of Everyday Life
You experience chronic pain without a legitimate explanation. Unfortunately, steady pain leads to further depression. Digestive problems can also stem from depression.

Personal Hygiene is Not a Priority
Taking care of simple responsibilities like bathing, combing your hair and keeping the house picked up seem like huge feats. Personal hygiene and your home cleanliness start a negative downward cycle of feeling like getting things back in order will require more than you have to give.

Can’t Remember, Can’t Decide
When you’re depressed it’s hard to focus your attention. Not surprisingly, it’s also hard then to recall things later on. The same mind fog makes it tough for people with depression to make simple decisions – like what to eat for dinner or what to wear.

If several of these symptoms ring true for you, it’s time to stop denying that you could be experiencing depression. Make an appointment at Family Guidance and find out how we can help you reverse the cycle. Depression doesn’t have to take over your life. We can help you to regain the color in your life.